MOOC Cartography - Presentation for Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning (2013)


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Presentation of dissertation literature review encompassing multiple historical and theoretical backgrounds to define the MOOC not as a learning model but as an educational phenomenon.

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  • Why did I say “We have lost the term MOOC” at OpenEd13?
  • Images of chariots filled with Canadian distance education scholars descending into battle with the Silicon Valley Venture Capitalists.
  • There’s a parallel to Udacity here somewhere.
  • For #4 – Both AnantAgarwal and Salman Khan are quoted as saying that they are not terribly aware of edu research, and if their findings are supported by research, it is by accident – they came up with the ideas themselves!” Craik & Lockhart’s paper from 1972
  • This is a perspective from Bill Gates’ favorite teacher
  • Is a campus tsunami coming because of short videos and interactive prompts? No. But that’s not the discussion point. Perhaps it seems like it to others. But the MOOC is representative of much more than a learning model built on eight minute videos and next-button learning.
  • Some of these are structural, technological…but as they habitate with other definitions and questions, we see a story unfold that grounds this phenomenon. Perhaps part of the problem is that in the tech world we are looking for that systematic answer. What is Paris? Paris is the capital of France. But if you’ve been to Paris, that’s not an adequate answer, and you might spend a lot of your life telling people just why Paris is more than France’s capital. What is a MOOC? It’s a course you can take w/o charge on the Internet. But if you’ve engaged with distance ed/online ed or even machine learning, you want to explain so much more.
  • To consider – what is the purpose of distance education? Provide for people who cannot access existing. Why can’t they access? Geography. Time. But there’s also a classist element here. If you are engaged in DE your gender, race, disability or other “characteristics” are not at play in your interactions. Also, where do we see the most DE invention? In places with huge spaces and a highly educated citizenry. China and Russia would be interesting places to study other DE perspectives. We still see 1st and 2nd Generation happening. But where? And how? And why did neither of them replace the University as we know it?Quoting Nipper – [1st and 2nd Gen DE] has mostly appealed to groups of educationally already privileged learners, and it has to a certain extent 'expelled' the educationally or socially weak learner. Garrison echoes the same sentiment in 2009.
  • While Plato did not light up higher education, its existence helped serve research that would later result in emoticons, discussion boards, instant messaging and even touch screen computing.
  • There have been two AI Winters in the brief history of artificial intelligence…one in the early 1970s and one in the late 1980s. This is a field used to what Gartner would call a trough of disillusionment. It is also a field used to continually purporting hype into their wares.
  • There is a longstanding relationship between AI, public relations and hype.
  • This is the popular rhetoric around schools; it is a gift and not a craft, a calling and not a profession, with a certain kind of person required to break through to students. I have never had a teacher like any of these people before.
  • This is mostly USA-Centric. In his first writing on MOOCs, Sir John Daniel (2012) noted that the hype of education systems and techologies does not reach a fervor until America says so; it is understood that a USA-centric approach has some of the same limitations that this presentation criticizes, but it is a reaction to a specific system.
  • For early education money was not a problem; it was a noble issue. On a younger level societies determined post-Industrial Revolution that their citizens would need early education through adolescence, and that it should be free (though access remained an issue). Higher ed followed along with limiting cost, but cost was still high and many fewer people could play despite government subsidy. It was only in the post-New Deal “Great Society” where the idea of low-cost higher education for everyone was prevalent…and even that remained an institutional issue, as the distance schools remained pay-to-play ventures in US.
  • Think about your experiences as a teacher versus the experiences you see teachers engage a classroom in via the movies (there is a reason the great critical theorists are all avid movie buffs).
  • Delphi is a methodology utilized to
  • MOOC Cartography - Presentation for Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning (2013)

    1. 1. MOOC CARTOGRAPHY Mapping the Massive Learning Model Across Theory, Pedagogy & History Rolin Moe Ed.D Candidate, Learning Technologies Pepperdine University Twitter - @RMoeJo About Me– About MOOCs – Dissertation Proposal -
    2. 2. PURPOSE OF PRESENTATION • Utilizing a thorough literature review to adequately define Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) along a variety of strata • History of Education • Educational Philosophy/Theory • Cultural & Political Interpretations of Education • Importance of adequately defining MOOC • Discussion & debate that would benefit via an accepted definition of the model
    3. 3. A (RHETORICAL) BATTLE OF EPIC PROPORTIONS MOOCs are a lightning strike on a rotten tree. - Clay Shirky There’s a tsunami coming. - John Hennessey (President, Stanford Univ.) The MOOC revolution…is here and real. - Thomas Friedman
    4. 4. Gustave Dore, Illustration of Paradise Lost. 1866
    5. 5. January Suchodolski, Battle of Berezina. 1866.
    6. 6. THERE ARE NO XMOOCS • In differentiating the various MOOC models, C. Osvaldo Rodriguez (2012) labeled the connectivism-borne MOOCs as cMOOCs, and the Stanford model MOOCs as aiMOOCs. • MOOC discussion, as catalyzed by various media outlets and forms (example – Tamar Lewin’s MOOCs, Large Courses Open to All, Topple Campus Walls, began using MOOC to label the AI borne courses in early 2012, paying no heed to cMOOCs. The courses and platforms of Coursera, Udacity and edX are just MOOCs. • xMOOC was first used by Tanya Roscorla in defining the emerging LMS movement against the connectivist history • The use of xMOOC since has largely been pejorative, creating “us vs. them” mentality rather than allowing for serious debate.
    7. 7. DOMINANT MOOC IDEOLOGY Influences • Cognitive Learning • Memory Recall • Khan Academy • Divine Right / Cult of Personality Instigation
    8. 8. A HISTORY OF EDUCATION (DOMINANT IDEOLOGY) Salman Khan & Michael Noer, A History of Education. Via Forbes.
    10. 10. THE PROBLEM WITH STRUCTURAL DEFINITION OF MOOC (AND EDUCATION IN GENERAL) • Education is a societal superstructure (Marx). Within an institution a structural definition is sufficient for operations, but across a superstructure such a definition omits the numerous variables at play in superstructures. • The acute focus of researchers and practitioners to debate what MOOC means as a structure not only ignores the larger debate of MOOCs as representative of higher education shifts, but it fails to engage a dominant paradigm that has never debated the structural meaning. Inforgraphic by Mathieu Plourde based on Jon Becker’s posit
    11. 11. TO DEFINE THE MOOC WE NEED TO INCORPORATE MULTIPLE HISTORIES • Distance Education • Online Learning • Machine Learning • Education Theory • Education Policy • Education & Economics • Education Access
    12. 12. MOOCS & DISTANCE EDUCATION - ABRIDGED via Soren Nipper’s Three Generations of Distance Education (1989) Notable Examples • 1st Generation – Correspondence (1850s – 1910s). Inexpensive production and distribution. • University of London International Programmes (1858) – first HE accrediting correspondence body • 2nd Generation – Broadcast & Multimedia. Use of radio, TV, and in some cases computers. Method of learning stays same, delivery change. • Cornell University’s Correspondence College (closed in 1883; never admitted a student) • Television Broadcast Training Programs via Stanford University, University of Nebraska (1970s, 1980s) • 3rd Generation – Telecommunications. Not just computers, but the difference between one-way and two-way communication for learner and expert.
    13. 13. MOOCS & ONLINE LEARNING - ABRIDGED • PLATO (1960s – present) – a computer-aided instructional program through the University of Illinois offering content modules via terminal interaction. • MIT OCW (2001) – Initiative by MIT to put course syllabi and materials online for interested parties. • Fathom/AllLearn – two higher education conglomerations designed to offer lifelong learning opportunities for institutional alumni through pedagogy similar to the MOOC (video lecture, interactive assessment). With no options for credit and a need to charge tuition, both programs closed.
    14. 14. COGNITIVE LEARNING - ABRIDGED • A large split in learning theory at the dawn of cognitive theory. • One group (largely educators and psychologists) ended up following learning and interaction to social learning theory, constructivism, constructionism, activity theory, etc. Despite gains and monumental theory shifts, many classrooms still operate via cognition theory • Another group (largely computer scientists) looked at cognition in artificial intelligence (expert systems, connectionism, intelligent agents). The AI Winter of the late 80s-early 90s saw economic setback that would not recover until the mid-2000s.
    15. 15. Adventure through Inner Space (sponsored by Monsanto), Monsanto Hall of Chemistry Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, 1955.
    16. 16. Clockwise fro left: Morgan Freeman as Principal Joe Clark in 1989 feature Lean on Me; Michelle Pfeiffer as 2nd Lieutenant LouAnne Johnson in 1995 feature Dangerous Minds; Robin Williams as John Keating in 1989 feature Dead Poets Society; Geoffrey Canada, CEO of Harlem Children’s Zone, in 2010 documentary Waiting for Superman.
    17. 17. EDUCATION POLICY – ABRIDGED (USA-CENTRIC) • In the USA, education is a superstructure organized and regulated on a state level. • The initial history of federal intervention in higher education (Morrill Land Grant Act, GI Bill, Higher Education Act of 1965) was designed primarily to provide money and land for state or individual use toward HE • Recent federal intervention has focused more on solidifying results (A Nation at Risk, NCLB, Race to the Top). • There is more government oversight and less government money in education today than at any time in US History
    18. 18. EDUCATION ACCESS (YES…ABRIDGED) • 1000s – Education is offered through sacred institutions to young men of nobility • Enlightenment – shift in philosophical thinking that pushes the religious and noble out of education requirement • 1860s – Morrill Land Grant Act designates space and finance for higher education, further eroding classist change • The GI Bill, Women’s Suffrage and the Civil Rights Era culminate in the Higher Education Act of 1965, designating numerous monetary options for those pursuing higher ed. • Gert Biesta, Henry Giroux, Noam Chomsky and others would say we are in an age of neoliberalism, where politicians believe free market commerce is necessary to fix the problems that ail superstructures.
    19. 19. CAN WE DEFINE THE MOOC PHENOMENON? • Learning model taking advantage of social media opportunities • • Learning model taking advantage of a continually lower operational cost to produce and distribute quality broadcast education A phenomenon in conjunction with a rise in artificial intelligence/machine learning popularity and utility • A phenomenon denoting society’s shift in technological thinking but inertia in psychological/theoretical understanding • A learning model indicative of a political climate of public-private partnerships and outsourcing (neoliberalism?) • Learning model viewed as favorable for a society in economic hardship • Learning model favorable for private enterprise • A phenomenon purporting the best idealism of higher education but largely ignorant of issues behind the struggle of the education superstructure
    20. 20. THE PATH OF THE RESEARCH – IN PROCESS • Currently employing a Delphi study with 20 experts from a variety of MOOCrelated disciplines to help define the phenomenon, its place in history, its cultural and political impact, and its effect on the future of higher education. • Blah blah blah tenured humanities professor sanctimony. Explain to me how you occupy the moral high ground when your students graduate $30000 in debt and have no marketable skills. • Panelists come from fields of MOOC development, MOOC professors, distance education/online education researchers, political/corporate/economic voices in education, and media/cultural critics focusing on education • MOOCs reflect changes in education. In themselves, they are not "disruptive' (what a terrible word - it needs to be taken out back and shot and never used again by educators). • Discussion centered around 12 quotations from MOOC literature, paraphrased in order to focus on debate rather than identity. • In many ways I think [MOOCs are] a better practice than going to a lecture in a classroom.